WARREN BUFFETT 00:08
Oh, inherited wealth and children —
AUDIENCE MEMBER 00:09
It was about kids inheriting money.
WARREN BUFFETT 00:11
Yeah. Well — (laughter) — we have a minority viewpoint down here in the front row. (Laughter and applause)
I think my views on that subject changed when I was about 18. (Laughs)
Until that point I thought it would be a great idea.
No, I am quite a believer in a meritocracy and I think a part of that is not having people start way, way ahead of other people in life, based on whether they were lucky enough to come from the right womb or not.
So I’ve never been big on the idea that either society benefited or, in many cases, the kids — although I think that’s much more problematic, but — by the fact that great transfers of wealth will go from one generation to another, I —
You know, I would rather see the degree of talent possessed by individuals determine the resources they command in this world, and their ability to influence other people’s lives and command the labor of other people, and all of that, than any divine right of the womb.
So that’s — and Charlie has a somewhat different view on that.
CHARLIE MUNGER 01:33
Yeah. I am a little more willing to let the world take the succeeding generations down. It’s — (Laughter)
WARREN BUFFETT 01:51
He believes in crossing it —
CHARLIE MUNGER 01:52
I don’t think they need much help. (Laughter)
WARREN BUFFETT 01:53
Charlie believes in passing it along, as long as you’re sure they’re going to blow it. (Laughter)
OK. Zone —
CHARLIE MUNGER 01:59
If you stop —
WARREN BUFFETT 02:00
CHARLIE MUNGER 02:00
If you stop to think, Warren, of the great fortunes of yore — if you go back to 1900, 1870 and, you know — name me the people that have vast power because they are in the fourth generation in that family. Some of them are living awfully well, but they are not running the world.
WARREN BUFFETT 02:18
I would say the Rockefeller family had considerably more influence than if their name had been, you know, just plain Rock. (Laughter)
CHARLIE MUNGER 02:28
Well, I think that’s true, but you’re picking probably the strongest, single family of the piece. And now that it’s dispersed among 60 or 70 or 80 Rockefeller, it —
I think it’s true there were four or five brothers there that had an unusual share of worldly influence. I must say, in that case I think they handled it very well.
WARREN BUFFETT 02:55
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